A new tool in the fight against prescription drug abuse will be introduced this weekend.
Power of Putnam Director of Prevention Amy Gibson said Deterra bags neutralize all prescription medicines. The bags are safe to throw away after use and help prevent drug use in the Upper Cumberland.
“We totally understand there are times you have to get a prescription and you going through whatever ailment that might be,” Gibson said. “But just being responsible with those prescriptions is all of our responsibilities.”
The bags will be distributed Friday and Saturday free-of-charge to residents at five one-hour stops across the county. To assure social distancing, the distributions will be drive-thru so you can drive by, roll down your window and receive your Deterra bag.
Gibson said each bag can dispose of 90 pills, 12 ounces of liquid or 12 patches. You simply add water to the bag, seal it, and throw it away.
“There is an inner pod inside these bags with an absorption technology that deactivates the medication using activating carbons.” Gibson said. “Once you put your medication in the bag, you add water and seal it up. Then, the chemicals naturalize the drugs.”
Around 18 million people have misused prescription drugs at least one time during the last year. While people are trying to dispose of unnecessary prescription drugs, Gibson said too many people flush them in the commode. That causes issues for the water treatment plants who monitor the levels of such chemicals.
“We don’t want you to flush,” Gibson said. “We don’t want you to throw them in the trash. Every thing from water treatment facilities to keeping any kind of harmful medication away from our young people. The harder it is to get your hands on medication the less chance you have of the medication falling in the wrong hands.”
Power of Putnam purchased the bags through a Partnership for Success grant. Gibson said the new bag will hopefully be a help to those who could not dispose of drugs at the Drug Take Back event in April. It was cancelled due to coronavirus. Usually, people dispose of around 200 pounds of medication at the event.
Gibson said if you have a large amount of unwanted prescription drugs drop them off at one of Power of Putnam’s permanent locations. For more questions about prescription drop offs, call 931-520-7531.
You can drive by and pick up your Deterra bag Friday in Cookeville at Golden Corral, Interstate Drive, from 11:30am-12:30pm or in Algood at Algood Drugs from 4:00pm-5:00pm. On Saturday, the bags will be available free outside Baxter City Hall from 10:00am-11:00am, at Cookeville’s Jackson Plaza from 12:00pm-1:00pm or at Monterey Parks and Recreation from 2:00pm-3:00pm. The bags are free.